St. Pete & Clearwater holidays

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Found in a sun-drenched spot between the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay, holidays to St. Pete & Clearwater are perfect for relaxing. With 35 miles of award-winning shorelines and turquoise seas at your feet, there’s no wonder why these neighbouring towns make up one of Florida’s most loved beach resorts.

But this slice of paradise has so much more to offer besides white sand. The art scene is pretty spectacular too, from the famous Dali Museum to the amazing murals found in downtown St Petersburg (known locally as St. Pete). So if you’re looking for a beach getaway that combines outdoor adventures with a dose of culture, St. Pete & Clearwater is the place for you.

Tropical beaches 

Just 90 minutes away from Orlando, St. Pete & Clearwater is the perfect twin centre option if you want to blend Florida’s theme parks with its incredible coastline. And thanks to the endless supply of white sand, you’ll find some of the best beaches in the US here. Make sure you tick off St. Pete first! Stretching for five miles, families will love the exhilarating mix of watersports and tasty food shacks. Then there’s Clearwater, with its sugar-fine sands, bustling promenade and nightly sunset celebrations at Pier 60. Prefer a sleepier shoreline? Look no further than Pass-a-Grille, a dune-backed stretch neatly tucked away from Florida’s high rises. Or if that’s not quite secluded enough, you’ll feel completely cut off at Shell Key Preserve, a barrier island which is only accessible by water.

Nature & wildlife

If you’d like to experience St. Pete/Clearwater’s natural beauty, watersports are among the top things to do in Florida. There’s something for all ages and abilities, from paddle boarding tours exploring the area’s mangrove islands to scuba diving trips taking you to some of the best dive spots in the Gulf. But there’s no better way to soak up that all-season sun than kayaking to Caladesi Island from Clearwater Beach. On your journey you’re likely to see exotic birds, colourful marine life, and maybe even a dolphin or two! Back on dry land, keen hikers can discover 8700 acres of wilderness at Brooker Creek Preserve.

World-class art

Downtown St. Pete is a bustling hub of art and culture, which makes it the perfect home for the Dali Museum and Morean Arts Center. Take a tour around the famous Chihuly Collection, where you can view the best of artist Dale Chihuly’s work, which includes abstract glass sculptures and colourful paintings. Or why not head to the Morean Center for Clay and try your hand at creating your own masterpiece? Nearby, you’ll also find glass-blowing demonstrations at the Glass Studio & Hot Shop. 

Bars & boutiques

St. Pete & Clearwater holidays have a great nightlife scene, complete with bustling bars, authentic breweries and chic rooftop spots. Affectionately known as the ‘Gulp Coast’, this Florida hotspot is home to the Craft Beer Trail, which has 30 breweries within an hour’s drive of each other (so you may need to appoint a designated driver). For a traditional people-watching pub experience, head to MacDinton’s Irish Bar, where flowing drinks and good times go hand in hand. And if you’re not ready to leave the beautiful beaches just yet, soak up the swanky lounge-style atmosphere at the Kimpton Hotel Zamora for cocktails and panoramic views across the Gulf of Mexico. 

More travel guides

Take a look at our other travel guides for this part of the USA, including California | Chicago | Crystal River | Daytona BeachFloridaFlorida Keys and Key West | Fort Lauderdale | Fort Myers and SanibelHawaii | KissimmeeLas Vegas | Los Angeles | Miami | New England | New York City | New York State | North East Corridor | Oregon State | OrlandoSan Francisco | Tampa BayTexas | The Deep South | Utah State | Washingston State

 

Map of St. Pete & Clearwater

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19 °C to 28°C

May to October is the most comfortable (and driest) time to visit.

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9 hours 35 minutes

Orlando International Airport (MCO), about 175km northeast of St. Pete & Clearwater.

St. Pete & Clearwater are best for…

Sun-seekers: Soak up some rays in St. Pete & Clearwater, where there is an average of 361 days of sunshine every year.

Foodies: Sample a taste of the sea and eat like a local, by grabbing yourself a fresh grouper sandwich at a waterfront beach bar.

Adventurers: Discover the mangrove swamps and waterways by kayak or canoe.

Fast facts for St. Pete & Clearwater

Language: The language spoken in St. Pete & Clearwater is English.

Currency: The currency used in St. Pete & Clearwater is the US Dollar ($).

Local time: St. Pete & Clearwater is five hours behind GMT/UK time.

Fly to: Orlando International Airport (MCO), which is just a 90-minute drive to St. Pete & Clearwater.

Flight time from UK: 9 hours 35 minutes.

Tourist Information: Further tourist information can be found at the official tourism website for St Pete & Clearwater.

Visa & Health: Before you travel, check the latest advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

 

Getting around St. Pete & Clearwater

By car: If you want to hire a car, driving around is easy. St. Pete & Clearwater’s roads are laid out on a grid system and there are two major highways (I-75 and I-275) that’ll connect you to surrounding areas like Tampa and Orlando.

By ferry: Jump on the local ferry to explore some of the area's best beaches including Madeira Beach and Treasure Island. You can enjoy some amazing sights, and you might even spot wild dolphins!

By Jolley Trolley: Hop between St Pete & Clearwater’s 26 communities by travelling around on the Jolley Trolley. It’s a cheap way to soak up the sights including Tarpon Springs, Dunedin and downtown St. Pete, which is home to the city's art and culture.

Events in St. Pete & Clearwater

St. Pete Pride: As Florida’s largest LGBTQ+ celebration, you can expect great things from St. Pete Pride. From parades to parties, this month-long festival takes place every June and is a must-attend event.

Super Greek Festival: Tarpon Springs is about as Greek as Florida gets, so if you fancy a taste of the Aegean while you’re touring the Sunshine State, head for this three-day festival. Get ready to indulge your senses at the authentic food and drinks stalls or immerse yourself in the culture with a Greek dance lesson.

SHINE Mural Festival: Decorating St. Pete’s art districts every October, feel inspired by one of the world’s most recognised street galleries, where you’ll find amazing murals by internationally known artists.

Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival: Over 17 days during April, 1,000 tons of sand are transformed into amazing sculptures at Pier 60. And there’s plenty to see besides beautiful carvings, from fireworks to street performances and live music.

 

Safety and security in St. Pete & Clearwater

For up-to-date advice on travelling to St. Pete & Clearwater, please visit the FCDO website.

Do I need a visa?

All British citizens will require a visa, or an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) visa waiver to enter the US. Please visit the US State Department website to find out which you need.

Do I need a passport?

All British citizens need a passport to travel to the US, which will need to be valid for the duration of your stay. No additional period of validity is required beyond this.

For the most up-to-date advice on entry requirements to the US, please visit the FCDO website.

St. Pete & Clearwater weather

Temperature: Average highs range from 21°C in January to 33°C in August.

Best time to visit: Most visitors prefer the warm, dry months from May to October.

With a similar climate to the Caribbean, St. Pete & Clearwater holidays promise sunny skies all year round. Do not forget your suncream and hat, especially if you’re visiting between May and September. The tropical weather in Florida also means you may get caught in the odd downpour, so it’s also wise to pack a light jacket if you’re travelling during September or April.

Best hotels in St. Pete & Clearwater

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